Fields, 57, was named president of McDonald's USA in 2010 and started with the company as a crew member more than 35 years ago. McDonald's says Fields was behind major menu innovations, including the expansion of the specialty drinks menu that includes fruit-flavored "chillers" and gourmet coffees. She also revamped the Happy Meal last year to include apple slices and fewer French fries. And Fields spearheaded McDonald's decision in September to start posting calorie information on its menu boards, ahead of a new regulation that will require restaurant chains to do so.
As global chief restaurant officer, Stratton oversees operations, training and innovation. He also started as a crew member more than 40 years ago in Detroit, and previously served as chief restaurant officer for McDonald's USA. Sa Shekhem said the transition to president of McDonald's USA, which is a promotion, should be seamless.
"A change in management doesn't signal a change in strategy," she said.
McDonald's has more than 34,000 locations around the world, with about 14,000 in the U.S.
McDonald's shares slipped 57 cents to close at $84.05 Thursday, after dropping earlier in the session to a low of $83.61, its lowest level since August 2011. The stock traded as high as $102.22 in January, and is down 16 percent since the start of the year.